Unusual forest encounter

After a fairly average ride in which I met loads of rude mountainbikers on the easy bit, and no one on the tricky bits, I was pottering back towards the car park when I came across three chaps slacklining between two trees.

I took the chance to stop and chat, and had a quick go. It was their first time out, and they didn’t seem to be doing well - although they promised that next time I see them they will have the line above head height. :astonished:

The slackline was about a 2" (50mm) webbing strap, tightened with a ratchet mechanism similar to those used by truckers. Apparently it only cost £50 off Amazon.

Anyone here had any experience of this?

Slacklining is very big around here; we even had a slacklining workshop at our juggling+unicycle festival. I’ve messed around with it a bit, I can get up and stay there for 10 or 20 seconds. The fun/work ratio seems a bit low.

did you try unicycling across it while juggling bowling pins in clown shoes above a lion jumping through a hoop? :slight_smile: but where they just in the middle of the woods? i was just thinking about buying one of those the other day they look like a good challenge :smiley:

I am an occasional slacker. I have used 1.5" strapping and 1" tubular webbing, the webbing is much nicer. I have been on lines with a mechanical ratchet and you can feel it bouncing there, I prefer using a few biners for tightening the line.

I ran into a couple slackers this fall while I was unicycling down by the river in Saskatoon. One guy was really good and the other guy was learning. I stopped and hung out with them for nearly an hour. We discovered we had mutual friends and mostly practiced doing a jump mount onto the line and by the end I had it 4 times out of 5.

If you know another slacker it is also fun to have slacking battles, two people on one slackline and see who can stay on the longest, or see if you can start on either end and pass each-other in the middle (I have never seen it done but it is supposedly possible)

Edit: if you want a cheap slackline get the components from a climbing supply store instead of buying a kit. And don’t forget to use either straps or treehuggers/friendlies to protect the tree!

Anyone know how i could build a cheap one ? i have 3 ratchet straps i use on my pallets,maybe they could be used

I did my first slack line during the summer of 1987. I use 1" tubular webbing with biners to attach the ends around the tree. I’ve never used a ratcheting tightener. I actually prefer my slack line to be, um, slack. Not tight. Ideally I set it up to span about 20 feet and have about a three foot drop from ends to middle with my weight on it. If I get it just right, my feet will be just a few inches above the ground when I stand on it in the middle. I’ve never tried it with two people. One of the skills that I use to test my abilities is to turn around on the webbing. That’s tricky, as is bouncing up and down, and walking right up to the tree.
I agree with Tom, although it is fun, it is rather limited. There’s just not that much you can do and you can’t exactly go places on this device.

That seems pretty cool. I may have to get me a line to have some fun with.:smiley: Hopefully I can get some people into it easily or at least get them to try it.

If your staps are long enough you could try to use them, just make sure that the weakest part of your system is between you and your ratchet mech, since if it brakes between your ratchet and the tree the metal ratchet will be flying at your head with uprising force.

Same here but I like my line a bit longer about 30-35’ with 3-4’ drop, longer lines have a much different feel as all the moves are bigger and slower.

Only real problem with a 4’ hig line is it is harder for beginners and I almost always have people stop and give it a try.

Another good test for youself is to see if you can lower your knee or but down to the line. I have a friend who can lay down and get back up on the line as well as do jumping 360s. I can only do the basics of walking, turning around, a bit of surfing, bouncing etc.

I’ve justed started Slacklining, got a 50mm Gibbon ratchet system strung up outside my backdoor.
It’s a fun thing to learn for 20 or 30 minutes an evening - give it a year and I’ll be ok (annoyingly my wife seems more of natural!!).

I’m pretty sure there’s video footage of Lucas Wintercrane riding a uni on a slackline somewhere on the forum.

It was very impressive.

It was a Gibbon system I saw.

Quite a few people at my university slackline, we tend to set it up right on campus and have passerbys join in. I’ve gotten four full revs and a bit of a still stand on the line with my trials uni.

From what I remember he was juggling five or so clubs at the same time.
(the bastard!)


EDIT: here it is

iv’e had a slackline since christmas, there great fun! i paid 26 quid for it, its very simple, but very strong and fairly easy to pick up, i could walk across after about an hour, theres lots of fancy tricks to try though!

I slackline. Here is my latest video:


In terms of learning new things slacking offers nearly as much as unicycling does. Here are some suggestions for tricks: http://www.slacklineexpress.com/tricks.htm.

I find that slacking draws just as much attention from passers-by as unicycling does and people always want a go with the unreasonable expectation that it will be easy.

I’m digging up this thread as I really want a slackline but the choice of what to buy is baffling me, and I can’t seem to find out what I want to know about them by looking on slackline forums. The post above caught my eye as I’ve heard it is possible to construct a decent cheap slackline using lorry straps and ratchets, liddle-peter is this what yours is?

Pretty much all the comments I have seen about ratchet slacklines are pretty negative, saying they don’t feel as nice, aren’t as safe etc., but the carabiner systems seem very expensive and I was wondering if there was a bit of elitism going on. Also I saw one comment saying that carabiner slacklines are not safe in public places where there are kids around, because of movement in the line where it is fastened. This would be no good at all for me as I live in a flat so my slacking would be in a public park. Can anyone here set me straight on the safety aspects of both systems?

Cheers, Liam

Edit:oops found this thread by searching and didn’t realise it was in RSU, sorry for the off-topic post!

Yo ape, don’t worry abou the non-unicycling aspect of tyour post, it happens, we will forgive you.

As for Biners -vs- ratchet both can be done cheeply and safely. Personally I feel safer with the biners.

As I have said in my previous post you can sometimes feel the ratchet on the line and that along with the ability to remove a large amont of slack is why I prefer using biners.

I got a bunch of biners from princess auto for $4 each that were rated to 10 tons so you don’t need to pay rediculous amounts of money for real climbing biners.

Cheers, that helps. Time to Google for gear and see what I can get for the cheapest:)

I really need to get some of this together as well. Cheap, and something to do with the laypeople on ocassion.

Yay! With a little help from YouTube, a length of webbing, 5 carrabiners, a couple of slings and some old towels…